Insufficient evidence of reduced COVID-19 incidence at high altitudes

Insufficient evidence of reduced COVID-19 incidence at high altitudes

Despite recent reports of lower COVID-19 incidence among high-altitude populations, current data is insufficient to conclude that high altitude is protective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as reported in the peer-reviewed journal High Altitude Medicine & Biology.

"The reported lower incidence of COVID-19 among high-altitude residents is quite intriguing, but epidemiological observations presented so far from high- regions are preliminary," state Matiram Pun, MBBS, MSc, University of Calgary, Erik Swenson, MD, University of Washington and Editor-in-Chief of High Altitude Medicine & Biology, and coauthors.

The authors also conclude that there is currently little supporting evidence for any protective benefit of genetic or nongenomic adaptation to hypoxia.

"We should avoid reaching the that any community has an innate protection from COVID-19 in the absence of robust evidence," state the authors.


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More information: Matiram Pun et al. Lower Incidence of COVID-19 at High Altitude: Facts and Confounders, High Altitude Medicine & Biology (2020). DOI: 10.1089/ham.2020.0114
Citation: Insufficient evidence of reduced COVID-19 incidence at high altitudes (2020, August 4) retrieved 29 July 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-insufficient-evidence-covid-incidence-high.html
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